British Comedy Guide

Reluctant Persuaders. Image shows from L to R: Laura (Olivia Nixon), Joe (Mathew Baynton), Hardacre (Nigel Havers), Amanda (Josie Lawrence), Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker). Copyright: ABsoLuTeLy Productions.

Reluctant Persuaders

BBC Radio 4 sitcom about an advertising agency. 8 episodes (2 series), 2015 - 2017. Stars Nigel Havers, Josie Lawrence, Mathew Baynton, Rasmus Hardiker and others.

Returns Thursday 6th April at 6:30pm. Episode Guide

Reluctant Persuaders

Radio 4 sitcom set in London's worst advertising agency

Genre
Sitcom
Broadcast
2015 - 2017
Channel
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
8   (2 series)
Starring
Nigel Havers, Josie Lawrence, Mathew Baynton, Rasmus Hardiker, Kieran Hodgson and Olivia Nixon
Writer
Edward Rowett
Director
Alan Nixon
Producer
Gordon Kennedy

For three decades, Rupert Hardacre was one of the big beasts of advertising, the self-proclaimed "British David Ogilvy". He worked hard, played hard, and lived hard. But he fell harder...

Driven out of every reputable agency in town for drinking all their whiskey and sleeping with all their wives, he used the remains of his fortune to found Hardacre's, the best (and only) advertising agency on the M25. Now he's so confident that his name alone will take him back to the top, he's happy to leave all the actual work to the creative department.

Joseph Starling and Teddy Beech - the entire creative department - have never been at the top of anything. Arts graduates in a tough economy, they took the first jobs they could find, and know precisely nothing about advertising. However, armed with a BA in English and a Gentleman's Third in Graphic Design, they're ready to take on the world. If only someone would tell them what it is they're supposed to be doing...

Amanda Barnes is the agency's new arrival, one of Campaign Magazine's 50 Account Managers To Watch... in 2006. Unfortunately, after several years out of the industry, Amanda is discovering it isn't that easy to get back on at the same level you got off at. Nevertheless, she is determined to work her way back to the top, even if she has to drag Hardacre's behind her single-handed.

Together with their permanently disinterested receptionist Laura; Hardacre, Joe, Teddy, and Amanda must work together to cater to the smallest, strangest, and most sinister clients in town, and prove they've got what it takes to get ahead in advertising.

Series 2: Hardacre's might still be the worst advertising agency in town, but they're on the up. Thanks to the relentless efforts of account manager Amanda, work is finally coming in. From ready meals that are almost 100% horse-free to a laser eye treatment that probably doesn't cause paranoid hallucinations, Hardacre's must sell the unsellable.

Spurred on by Amanda's oft-stated desire to fire them, copywriter Joseph Starling and art director Teddy Beech have begun to write more effective ads that don't all revolve around puns. Creative director Rupert Hardacre is determined to prove he's still got it - taking a more active creative role, and only drinking with, after, or before meals. Hampering the team's efforts is receptionist Laura who would rather be literally anywhere else. Hardacre's are back to take on the world. But they might not win...

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